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Letters to the Editors

Rehiring deputies was the right move

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 8, 2002

Re: Sheriff erred putting deputies back on job, Aug. 30 letter

Editor: The law enforcement officers who were recently rehired by Sheriff Bob White never should have been fired. These officers were actually fired for telling the truth, not for being liars. Being honest and moral people is how they got themselves in this situation. There was, and is, a severe shortage of corrections officers in Pasco County. This makes a dangerous situation.

To try to remedy this somewhat, the officers have had to work overtime and sometimes double shifts to cover the void. Some of the officers were working overtime and trying to attend class at the same time. The practice of signing each other in was not done to be malicious or to get away with something. It was done so they would not fall behind in their assignments and class work; and by having a friend to cover for you a few times, they could keep up their studies.

After working 12 or 16 hours at a dangerous job where being alert is important, and having to return to work in less than eight hours, sleep was the priority over class.

If an officer could not be in class, another officer signed them in and got their assignment for them. The fact is, several officers were doing this, not just the three officers who got fired. Even the superior officers saw and knew this practice was going on and said nothing at all, did not even suggest to any of them that they should not be doing this.

Only seven officers were investigated, and three fired because they told the truth and admitted they did sign each other in. I guess that says being a liar is a good thing at the Sheriff's Office.

Will a lawyer believe these deputies if they have to testify some day? Will he believe some who were actually honest and truthful and admitted, when asked, that they did something? Or, will he believe the other deputies who lied? What the three did is not a crime or unlawful, and it wasn't even a malicious act. The sheriff did the right thing by reinstating these honest, hard working, dedicated deputies.
-- Patricia Bower, Spring Hill

McIntosh was formidable advocate for veterans

Editor: I, like so many in our community, was saddened to learn that former Dade City Mayor Charles McIntosh recently passed away. During my legislative career, I had the honor of knowing and working with Mayor McIntosh on issues of concern to Pasco's diverse residents.

During Pasco's ultimately successful effort to bring a state veterans nursing home to our county, Mayor McIntosh was a formidable ally. His advocacy and support on behalf of our veterans was commendable.

During other joint efforts, including securing money to renovate the Crescent Theater on behalf of CARES, Mayor McIntosh was an active participant in what was a major coup for the elders in and around Dade City.
-- Mike Fasano, District 45 State representative

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